William R. Sawyers has seen all sides of the American food industry. He took Del Monte Foods Inc. public in the 1990s and served the company for almost a decade.

Now he's back in the same role after the company was taken private again. The regulatory scheme is more difficult now, plaintiffs lawyers are very active, international licensing agreements are more complex, and the industry is more competitive.

Sawyers enjoys the challenge of returning to an industry he knows well and trying to run an even tighter ship than previously, with a smaller legal team and an increased role on the compliance side of the business.

Among the firms he trusts for litigation is Ballard Spahr for general trademark disputes and matters. Hara Jacobs, Dan Englander, and Tyler Marandola represent Del Monte.